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Is cognitive behavioral therapy for me? Types of CBT and How Their Used

People in CBT Therapy

While many people have heard of the term “cognitive behavioral therapy”, some may not quite understand what it does, or how it can be effective. In this article, we'll take a closer look at how cognitive therapy works, what conditions have been observed to respond well to CBT, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of this form of psychotherapy.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a popular, evidence-based talk therapy practice. Cognitive therapy was developed to identify negative thought and behavior patterns, and then shift them into more productive and positive directions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a structured form of psychotherapy that is designed to be completed in a limited number of sessions with a licensed therapist. Research shows that this form of therapy can be extremely effective for many purposes, but cognitive therapy may not be for everyone.

What mental health conditions are behavioral therapies effective in treating?

Cognitive behavior therapy can be an effective tool for treating several mental health conditions, or even simply for helping individuals learn how to better manage stress in their lives. Some of the challenges that CBT therapy is often used for include:

Cognitive behavioral interventions can be used alone or alongside other forms of psychotherapy for treating mental health issues.

What are some strengths and weaknesses of cognitive behavioral therapy?

While cognitive behavioral therapy is effective at treating many mental health problems, it is not always an answer for those seeking help. In this section, we'll outline some of the strengths and weaknesses of CBT as a treatment process.

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help

The following are some benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy and scenarios that CBT therapy can help.

CBT is a short-term therapy treatment compared to other treatments.

Unlike some other forms of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy is a shorter process. For someone who is looking for healthy coping strategies, and doesn't want to be stuck in therapy for years, CBT can be an effective solution.

CBT focuses on re-training your thoughts and changing your behaviors.

Several forms of mental illness are based on negative thought patterns and negative behaviors that become maladaptive coping mechanisms for those negative thoughts. CBT treatment allows your therapist to guide you toward identifying irrational beliefs and offers healthy coping strategies to minimize cognitive distortions.

CBT focuses on the person's ability to change themselves.

Cognitive behavioral therapy empowers the individual to take control of their cognitive processes. For people who feel powerless, this can be healing and improve the efficacy of the treatment process.

CBT can be implemented either individually or in group therapy.

For those who may not be comfortable participating in individual therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy can also be offered in a group therapy setting. This can take some of the pressure off, while still allowing access to the coping mechanisms of CBT therapy.

CBT can be as effective as medications when it comes to treating mental health disorders.

According to research studies published in the Clinical Psychology Review, for some common psychological disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy can be just as effective as medication at managing symptoms.

The skills learned in CBT prepare you for real-life situations.

Cognitive behavior therapy isn't just for people who need treatment for mental health disorders. Almost anyone can benefit from the coping mechanisms that cognitive therapy teaches. Psychological distress can occur during times of life change like a death, divorce, or even moving to a different area. The techniques learned in cognitive psychotherapy can help you better manage these feelings.

What are the limitations of cognitive-behavioral therapy?

The following are some potential roadblocks for cognitive therapy, and some potential scenarios for it may not be as effective as a treatment plan.

CBT treatment relies heavily on a person's willpower.

While cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective for many, in general, change can be difficult. Some people may just not be ready to change, and for them, CBT may not be helpful.

CBT is not helpful for people with learning disabilities or complex mental health conditions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective for treating depression, substance use disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and panic disorder, but it is less effective for treating complex mental health conditions. This can include personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder.

CBT can make you feel more anxious and stressed before it can make you feel better.

For some, before a positive outcome is achieved, they may notice an uptick in negative emotional responses and cognitive distortions as they learn to practice these new skills.

CBT only focuses on current problems and specific issues.

Cognitive behavior therapy is a therapy of the present. It can be more solution-focused than other forms of therapy. While you may visit the past to discover the reasons behind negative thoughts and emotional responses to certain scenarios, CBT treatment is more about the identification of cognitive distortions and direct approaches to managing the symptoms of mental health disorders.

For some, healing the past may require more. That's why, in some cases, cognitive behavioral therapy is used alongside other treatments.

How do I find out if cognitive therapy is right for me?

Finding out if cognitive behavioral therapy is appropriate for the treatment of your personal mental health issues can be as simple as asking a few key questions:

  • Do I find myself thinking a lot of negative thoughts in general?
  • Am I having difficulties dealing with stress management in my life?
  • Are negative behaviors and thoughts interfering with my daily life or my ability to have healthy relationships with others?

If you find that you aren't feeling your best mentally or emotionally, reach out to a therapist to find out more about cognitive behavioral therapy, and whether it may be the right form of treatment for you.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Brooklyn

If you have been considering therapy for any reason, but are unsure of what you may need, don't hesitate to reach out for advice.

At Williamsburg Therapy Group, we understand that you may not be sure of what therapy may be right for you, and offer a variety of therapeutic approaches so that you get what you need.

Give us a call today, and our patient coordinator will help you find the right therapist, potentially one who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy in Brooklyn to help you manage the stress of daily living, and start feeling better.

Book a Therapy Session in Brooklyn Today

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